Steve Smith on track to play a full part in Australia's World Cup campaign

Smith had undergone surgery on his elbow last month and is still in a brace.

Steve Smith | Getty

Banned Australia cricketer Steve Smith remains on track to play a role in Australia’s World Cup defence, with CA keen to bring him in action "as soon as practical".

Smith had undergone surgery on his elbow last month and is still in a brace which will be removed only towards the end of this month.

"Until the brace comes off we don't know for sure but all current opinion is that he'll then have about three and a half weeks (before being ready to play)," Smith's manager, Warren Craig, told cricket.com.au.

"The intent is that he will play in the IPL and then the World Cup and then the Ashes."

Smith and his then deputy David Warner were handed 12-month suspensions by Cricket Australia for their roles in the ball tampering plot against South Africa during the Cape Town Test last year. Besides, rookie opener Cameron Bancroft was barred from international cricket for a period of nine-month under CA's Code of Conduct.

While Bancroft's suspension expired on December 29, Smith and Warner will not be eligible to return until March 29, 2019.

"Return-to-play timeframes will be clearer once the brace has been removed near the end of February. We are working with Steve to ensure he is ready to return to play as soon as practical," a Cricket Australia spokesperson said.

It is learnt that Smith will go through a rehab program to strengthen the arm before returning to the nets.

Earlier, Australia coach Justin Langer said it would be "crazy" not to select both Smith and Warner for the World Cup, scheduled to be held in England from May 30.

"We're talking about two great players. We're not talking about two really good players, they're two great players who, on paper, we'd be crazy not to have them in the team (for the World Cup)," Langer had said after Australia’s victory in the Canberra Test against Sri Lanka.

"(It's about) how much cricket they get to play between now and then, but I'm sure we'll find opportunities. They'll find opportunities … but I can't see anything else (stopping them).

"We've got to keep working on how they are with their elbows first," Langer said after both players went under the knife last month. They're going to need to get some cricket leading into hopefully coming back into the squad. It's all part of the management. We'll have to wait and see what happens there," he added.


By Salman Anjum - 06 Feb, 2019

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